Cohn Says Clearinghouses Could Create New Systemic Problem; EU and US agree to accept each other’s derivatives rules

Oct 16, 2017

First Read

Hits & Takes

Jenny Knott stepped down as CEO of NEX Optimisation.

FIA is hiring two people for its communications department: a director of communications working with senior management to develop, implement and coordinate our overall press and public relations strategy and thought leadership; and a director of editorial services managing member and industry communications, the production of editorial content and the delivery of that content to multiple audiences across multiple channels. More information is available HERE.~JJL

Registration is now open for CMC’s annual State of the Industry Conference in Miami Beach — January 28-30, 2018~JJL

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – October 13, 2017~JJL


Information and Cyber Security for the Futures Industry; A Perspective by VSEC, LLC
John Lothian – JLN
The founders of a information and cyber security advisory firm have written a must read white paper for the futures industry about the business and regulatory challenges of cyber security and how to manage them.


Pentagon Turns to High-Speed Traders to Fortify Markets Against Cyberattack; Experts attend brainstorming sessions to identify how hackers might wreak havoc
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Dozens of high-speed traders and others from Wall Street are helping the Pentagon study how hackers could unleash chaos in the U.S. financial system.


Nasdaq Discusses Valued Internship Program

Our MarketsWiki Education Intern Recruiting Event is on today! As our sponsor firms gear up to meet with students from all over the Midwest, we interviewed the chief operating officer at Nasdaq Futures, Steve Sladoje, about their highly valued internship program and the opportunities for program graduates.

Watch the video »


Spoofing; Supervision; De Minimis Threshold; Automated Trading System Gone Bad
Gary DeWaal – Bridging The Week
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission brought and settled an enforcement action against a Dubai-based brokerage company and trading firm for the purported spoofing-type trading by one of its employees. The Commodity Exchange, Inc. also brought an action against the same entity for spoofing, and additionally charged the firm with failure to supervise. Separately, J. Christopher Giancarlo, CFTC Chairman, told a Congressional committee that he would be recommending a one year delay in the implementation date of any new swap dealer de minimis threshold amount in order to determine who should be registered as a swap dealer; this amount currently is scheduled to decrease from US $8 billion to US $3 billion at the end of 2018.


An upstart exchange just took a big swing at two of Wall Street’s most powerful players
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
The firm says the NYSE and Nasdaq are not providing their clients with the proper information about the issue.
Bats, the upstart stock exchange recently acquired by industry giant Chicago Board Options Exchange, just took a big swing at rivals Nasdaq and the NYSE.


Elmhurst Exploring Club #1 Opens Opportunities for Scouting Adventure for Girls Today; Girls don’t have to wait to join Boy Scouts, they can join Exploring Club #1 today.
John Lothian – Elmhurst Patch
The Boy Scouts of America has announced on October 11 that starting in 2018 they will admit girls into Cub Scouts and in 2019 will add them to Boy Scouts. However, today girls who are at least 10 to 14 years old may join the Elmhurst Exploring Club # 1 right now and prepare themselves for the adventures of Boy Scouts. Exploring Club #1 is part of Elmhurst Scouts, which includes Venturing Crew 711 (which is already coed) and Boy Scout Troop 117.


Friday’s Top Three
Our top story on Friday was the clarification on all the drama going at TradingScreen, in The Trade’s story TradingScreen rejects claims by shareholder group. Second went to Bloomberg’s piece This Is Where People Are Buying Bitcoin All Over the World. Third was the FT’s piece Nasdaq’s future lies in tech, data and analytics, says chief


Sponsored Content
IFN Snart Financial Regulation Roundtable



MarketsWiki Statistics Sponsored by Level Trading Field
  • 109,382,567pages viewed
  • 22,861 pages
  • 210,017 edits


Level Trading


Lead Stories

Cohn: Overuse of Clearinghouses Could Create New Systemic Problem; Trump’s chief economic adviser says the role of clearinghouses ‘agitates me’
Harriet Torry – WSJ
National Economic Council director Gary Cohn hit out at clearinghouses Sunday, saying the growing amount of illiquid assets parked in them raises concerns about a “new systemic problem in the system.”

****SD: Reuters here and Financial Times here

EU and US agree to accept each other’s derivatives rules; Deal marks progress toward global harmonisation of the multibillion dollar market
Barney Jopson and Philip Stafford – FT
The US and EU have taken a big step towards harmonising the global rules for derivatives trading, by reaching a long-sought agreement to accept the validity of each other’s regulations in the multibillion dollar market.

****SD: Reuters here

Britain is over-tolerant of monopolies; CMA needs to bust trusts more vigorously as power is too concentrated across sectors
Jonathan Ford in London – FT
The old joke that asks why there is only one Monopolies Commission may no longer work now the watchdog has rechristened itself the Competition and Markets Authority.

Eisman of ‘The Big Short’ Doubts Cohn Warning on Clearinghouses
Larry Ditore – Bloomberg
Steve Eisman isn’t convinced Gary Cohn knows what he’s talking about. At least when it comes to clearinghouses.

In China, Trading Begins on WeChat
Lianting Tu and Carrie Hong – Bloomberg
Personal messaging apps used to solicit offers, share intel; Ubiquitous WeChat use raises questions about record keeping
In China, bankers and traders don’t just hit the phones or send an email when they have a deal to sell. They take to WeChat.

London’s Gold Crown Is Slipping
Eddie Van Der Walt and Susanne Barton – Bloomberg
Basel III rules on lenders’ balance sheets may also hit market; Added uncertainty comes from Brexit as banks mull moving desks
London is losing its Midas touch. New rules from regulators, on top of uncertainties over the U.K.’s future relationship with the European Union, are denting the city’s position as the biggest center for gold trading in the world. The changes threaten to push up costs, a key competitive advantage of London’s over-the-counter market.

ABN AMRO Clearing extends its relationship with Fidessa to include screen distribution
Fidessa group plc today announced that it has extended its existing relationship with ABN AMRO Clearing Bank N.V. to allow the global clearer to distribute Fidessa’s derivatives EMS. In June 2016 ABN Amro Clearing harmonised its global multi-asset market access by replacing numerous ISV and in-house systems with Fidessa’s XTP technology. ABN Amro Clearing can now present its clients with a globally consistent and highly performant market access layer to more than 110 futures, options, equities and FX markets delivered out of 11 key locations around the world.

This Is the Week Wall Street Went Nuts Over Cryptocurrencies
Natasha Doff and Sid Verma – Bloomberg
Wall Street banks that weren’t already on the bitcoin bandwagon appear to be piling on, or least eyeing seats, after the cryptocurrency surged to all-time highs this week on the way to $6,000.
Analysts are working to keep up with demand from clients for information. UBS and Citigroup published extensive explainers on blockchain technology, while senior executives at JPMorgan Chase & Co. warmed to the cryptocurrency during the bank’s third-quarter earnings call.

Dimon and Fink unite on need to ‘crush’ bitcoin
Ben McLannahan – Financial Times
Governments around the world will “crush” bitcoin before long, according to two of the most powerful men on Wall Street, who argue that the only real value in the fast-rising virtual currency is as a tool for criminals and money launderers.
At a conference in Washington on Friday afternoon, Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, noted recent moves to curb the circulation of bitcoin in China and an initiative in Japan to launch an electronic currency pegged to the yen.

Regulators warn retail traders against cryptocurrencies; Growing number of sites allow customers to bet on fluctuating prices
Hannah Murphy – FT
Online derivatives trading companies are taking advantage of the growth of cryptocurrency markets by allowing retail customers to bet on wildly fluctuating prices, prompting warnings from regulators.

The chief executive of Nex Group’s Optimisation unit has resigned just weeks after the company warned on profits
Courtney Goldsmith – City AM
Nex Group, Michael Spencer’s trading technology firm that was formed out of a merger of the voice-broking arm of Nex and Icap last year, said Jenny Knott had decided to step down and would be replaced by Ken Pigaga, global chief operating officer of Nex.

The Crash of ’87, From the Wall Street Players Who Lived It; Black Monday fire drills, steaks from Delmonico’s, cash in the raftersóand a mystery explained.
Richard Dewey – Bloomberg
On Wall Street, when things decline, you tend to remember. When things decline a lot, you remember the date. Oct. 19, 1987, is one such example. The biggest single-day stock market collapse in historyóa 23 percent dropórendered once-trusted ideas useless and redefined the financial landscape for market professionals.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Two Chinese Firms Bidding for Chicago Exchange Withdraw From Controversial Deal; Chongqing Jintian Industrial Co., Ltd. and Chongqing Longshang Decoration Co., Ltd. exited after SEC sought more details about bid
Dave Michaels – WSJ
Several Chinese investors vying for a piece of the U.S.’s last regional stock exchange have dropped out of the deal, people familiar with the matter said, after the deal weathered intense political criticism of their bid.

Two Chinese Bidders for Chicago Exchange Drop Out
Nick Baker and Brian Louis – Bloomberg
SEC stalled a decision on whether to approve the deal; Trump, some lawmakers have blasted the sale to Chinese firms
Two of the three China-based bidders for the Chicago Stock Exchange have withdrawn from the group trying to acquire the market, according to a person familiar with the matter.

SGX expects to be among first wave of Mifid II equivalence; EC approval would mark a major acceleration in process of allowing trading on non-EU venues
Afiq Isa –
The Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) expects to be among the first non-European trading venues accessible to European Union firms when a key regulation goes live in January 2018, and Hong Kong may also be deemed eligible in time for next year.

Aim IPOs bounce back as Brexit jitters ease; City’s stockbroking houses benefit from increased fundraisings in recent months
Hannah Murphy – FT
London’s junior stock market has shrugged off Brexit-related uncertainty to host a wave of fundraising activity in recent months, providing a boost to the City’s stockbroking houses.

Bank of China connects to Thomson Reuters’ FX trading platform; Bank of China in Hong Kong will use Thomson Reuters for electronic and FX trading activities.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Bank of China in Hong Kong (BOCHK) has adopted Thomson Reuters electronic trading and FXall through the firm’s platform FXT.


ABN Amro Clearing to distribute Fidessa’s derivatives EMS; The deal extends the partnership between ABN Amro Clearing and Fidessa.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
ABN Amro Clearing Bank is to distribute Fidessa’s derivatives execution management system (EMS) in a bid to ready its clients for changes to risk management and reporting under MiFID II.

Tradeweb Launches Electronic Swaptions Trading on TW SEF; An Automated Workflow Brings Greater Efficiency to Swaptions Market on Tradeweb
Tradeweb Markets, a leading global provider of fixed income, derivatives and ETF marketplaces, announced the launch of swaptions trading on TW SEF. Garda Capital Partners LP, an alternative asset manager focused on providing uncorrelated fixed income investment strategies, executed the first fully-electronic swaption on TW SEF at the end of Q3 2017. Eight swap dealers are live on the platform, with another four in the process of on-boarding.

The electricity required for a single bitcoin trade could power a house for a whole month
Will Martin – Business Insider
Bitcoin transactions use so much energy that the electricity used for a single trade could power a home for almost a whole month, according to a paper from Dutch bank ING.

Derivatives broker Thales Trading spins out technology platform; Theorem Technologies launches as SaaS company in Chicago
Matt Smith – HFM
Derivatives broker Thales Trading Solutions has spun out its technology platform as a new venture called Theorem Technologies. Theorem is launching in Chicago as a SaaS company, offering software to augment and streamline workflows, and manage data-driven functions across the middle-to-back office. The company will also provide dynamic aggregation reporting

Tim Cook Says Learning How to Code is More Important than English as a Second Language
Eli Meixler – Fortune
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, English may be a global language, but it’s more important to learn how to code.

J.P. Morgan’s James Dimon May Hate Bitcoin, but He Loves Blockchain; Bank expected to roll out a pilot program to use the record-keeping technology to speed global payments
Emily Glazer – WSJ
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. CEO James Dimon recently trashed the digital currency bitcoin as a fraud that will blow up. But he’s still enamored with the technology that underpins it and other virtual currencies.


Congress Works to Slow Down The CAT
Themis Trading Blog
“We need the SEC to require tagging and disclosure of high-frequency trades and quickly implement a consolidated audit trail so that objective and independent analysts ó in academia, private analytic firms, the media and elsewhere ó are given the opportunity to study and discern what effects high-frequency trading strategies have on long-term investors. They can also help determine which strategies should be considered manipulative.”

Trump faces choice between upheaval and continuity at the Fed; US president must decide whether to risk jarring the markets to ensure deregulation
Sam Fleming – Financial Times
Donald Trump must choose between embracing continuity or propelling the world’s most important central bank into a potentially market-jarring change of direction when he decides on the next Federal Reserve chair.


ESMA seeks two candidates – academics and financial market participants – for its stakeholder representative group
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is seeking candidates to represent the interests of financial market participant (one post) and academics (one post), as members of its Securities Markets Stakeholders Group (SMSG).

CFTC Comparability Determination on EU Margin Requirements and a Common Approach on Trading Venues
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo today announced determinations by the CFTC and the European Commission (EC) on comparability and equivalence of margin requirements for uncleared swaps, as well as a common approach regarding certain CFTC and European Union (EU) authorized derivatives trading venues. These announcements follow extensive cooperation between the staffs of the CFTC and the EC and reflect the CFTC’s ongoing commitment to international collaboration and comity.

FCA launches the Asset Management Authorisation Hub; The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today launched its new asset management authorisation hub.
The hub has been launched to support new firms by assisting when they apply for authorisation, throughout the authorisation process and afterwards.

Investing and Trading

Bridgewater Founder Ray Dalio’s Next Investment; The hedge-fund titan is now pouring his energies into helping others succeed by passing along his principles; ‘Don’t pick your battles’
Alexandra Wolfe – WSJ
Ray Dalio says he believes in radical truthfulness. The founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, lives by a mÈlange of maxims about being transparent and embracing reality. “Don’t filter.” “Don’t treat all opinions as equally valuable.” “Don’t ‘pick your battles.’ Fight them all.”

30 years since Black Monday: investors remember the worst day in the FTSE’s history
James Connington – Telegraph
Next week marks 30 years since the infamous “Black Monday” stock market crash of 1987, when the FTSE 100 fell by more than 20pc over the course of a few days.

The Coming Renaissance of Macro Investing;The petrodollar system is being undermined by exponential growth in technology and shifting geopolitics. Coming: a paradigm shift.
John Curran – Barron’s
In the summer of 1974, Treasury Secretary William Simon traveled to Saudi Arabia and secretly struck a momentous deal with the kingdom. The U.S. agreed to purchase oil from Saudi Arabia, provide weapons, and in essence guarantee the preservation of Saudi oil wells, the monarchy, and the sovereignty of the kingdom. In return, the kingdom agreed to invest the dollar proceeds of its oil sales in U.S. Treasuries, basically financing America’s future federal expenditures.

Bond Traders Face Inflation Gamble That Will Last a Generation
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Treasury to auction $5 billion of 30-year TIPS this week; As core CPI misses estimates, yield curve flattest since 2007
If you’re a bond trader and agree with the Federal Reserve that low inflation is only transitory, then the Treasury has quite a deal for you.

The Nobel Prize for Clever Mind Games Goes To…
Jason Zweig – WSJ
“Default” is normally a bad word in finance; ask anyone who’s ever owned a bond that missed an interest payment. But another sort of default can be good for retirement savers.

Bets Against the Nasdaq 100 Are Surging in This Leveraged ETF
Cecile Vannucci – Bloomberg
Investors are doubling down on bets against U.S. tech shares. They’ve pushed the number of options to a one-year high for a leveraged exchange-traded fund that rises when the Nasdaq 100 Index falls, with more than five calls outstanding for each put.

Does Monet Beat the Dow? How Artworks Perform as an Investment; Art can be an investment. But is it a good one?
James Tarmy – Bloomberg
Everyone loves a story about collectors who bought art for a song and sold it for a million. Once in a blue moon, that actually happens. In the case of Impressionist art, though, dappled landscapes and dreamy portraits by Monet, Renoir, and Degas were oftentimes considered investments before the paint on the canvas had dried.

A ‘Crazy’ Stock Market Is Punishing Sellers; Ever since Brexit failed to break the bull, traders live in fear of missing out.
Dani Burger, Elena Popina and Lu Wang – Bloomberg
At Credit Suisse Group AG’s prime brokerage desk in midtown Manhattan, the phone hardly seems to ring anymore. Its hedge fund clients don’t call about Donald Trump’s tweetstorms and the stock market or ask what to do when terrorists attack. And there was barely a whiff of panic when North Korea erupted in August. “Two rockets flew over the land mass of Japan and nothing happened,” says Mark Connors, Credit Suisse’s global head of risk advisory. “There were no calls. That’s absolutely crazy.”

The Three Scenarios That Should Guide Investors; Take into account endogenous economic and financial healing, long-awaited policy breakthroughs and bigger liquidity waves.
Mohamed A. El-Erian – Bloomberg
If you are adding to your long-term holdings of stocks and other risk assets at current market valuations, you are likely to be betting — knowingly or not — on a combination of three drivers of future returns; or you are planning to sell your holdings to someone who is or will be making that bet. Understanding the importance of these three scenarios, both in relative and absolute terms, indicates not only the probability of being right over time, but also the tilts you should be applying to your current “risk-on” portfolio positioning.


PayPal’s Market Value Eclipses AmEx, Nears Morgan Stanley, Goldman; Mobile-payments company’s shares surge as market capitalization climbs to about $83 billion
Peter Rudegeair – Bloomberg
PayPal Holdings Inc. vaulted over American Express Co. in terms of market value this week, punctuating a rally that has pushed up the payments company’s shares by nearly 75% since the start of 2017.

Yellen Calls Inflation the ‘Biggest Surprise’ in the Economy
Jeanna Smialek – Bloomberg
‘Biggest surprise’ this year has been inflation, she says Yellen sees prices picking up, but structural change possible

UBS Hopes to Keep as Many Analysts in London as Possible, Chairman Says
Laura J Keller – Bloomberg
UBS Group AG wants to keep as many research analysts as possible in London after the U.K. exits the European Union, Chairman Axel Weber said.

Cruellest bank scandal of them all: Stories of horrifying human suffering behind family firms that were deliberately driven to the wall by corrupt financiers
Ruth Sunderland – The Mail
The morning of September 23, 2013, is one that none of the Morgan brothers will ever forget. On that autumn day, 40 security guards marched into the 4,000-acre family farm in rural Oxfordshire, where they proceeded to barricade Nigel, 56, Colin, 65, and Richard, 53, and their families into their homes.

Barbarians Open Their Gates as Blackstone, Others Seek Retail Cash; Blackstone aiming to attract more investors with $1 million to $5 million by offering direct access
Miriam Gottfried – WSJ
Blackstone Group LP, which has become a Wall Street juggernaut by catering to institutions and the ultrarich, is targeting investors with $5 million or less for its next leg of growth.

Barclays CEO Whistle-Blower Probe Is Said to Take Until December
Stephen Morris and Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
Results of FCA investigation into CEO pushed back from October; Bank trying to resolve misconduct allegations in U.S., U.K.
U.K. regulators probing Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley’s attempts to unmask a whistle-blower will probably take until the end of the year to conclude their investigation, people with knowledge of the process said.

Banks push total return swaps as European credit booms; New derivative products target investors trying to gain exposure to thriving market
Thomas Hale and Robert Smith – FT
Investment banks are offering new derivative products tied to the booming market for corporate credit, pushing the frontiers of a swaps market that now references some of the most complex bonds in Europe.


Commodity Dependence Worsens For Developing Countries
Nine more developing economies became dependent on commodity exports between 2010 and 2015, bringing the total to 91, about two-thirds of all the 135 developing countries, a new UN report says.

Why Beijing Won’t Just Let the Yuan Go; The real direction of yuan ‘reform’ will be sideways, not forward, over the next half decade
Nathaniel Taplin – WSJ
China has always been a pressure cookerótoo many people, not enough land, and a long tradition of authoritarian governments with a flexible approach to the rule of law that depends on who you are and who you know.

Asian hedge funds: the happy medium Premium; It is probably a good thing that new entrants can only launch selectively
Lex – FT
Hedge funds often launch when markets are high, like butterflies hatching on a warm day. But despite buoyant stocks, Asia has produced the smallest number of new openings in the year to date for 17 years, according to data from Eurekahedge.

Southeast Asia’s Worst Stock Market May Be Buoyed by Najib Budget
En Han Choong – Bloomberg
Government spending could boost consumer stocks, builders; Gains in personal spending to signal opportunity: Eastspring
Malaysia’s government spending could revive gains in the stock market that is Southeast Asia’s worst performer despite receiving the most foreign investment in the region.

Indonesia Set for Trillion-Dollar Economy in Bittersweet Triumph
Karlis Salna – Bloomberg
Jokowi faces challenges in infrastructure, tax and poverty; Growth struggling to accelerate even after eight rate cuts
Indonesia is on track to become a trillion-dollar economy and should be the envy of Southeast Asia. Yet on some key measures, the region’s biggest economy is falling behind.

Peak Gold Output Is Looming for World’s No. 2 Producer; Australia’s gold production may top out in 2021 on mine closures
David Stringer – Bloomberg
Gold output in Australia, the world’s second-largest producer, will peak in 2021 and more than halve by the mid-2050s as aging mines close, according to Melbourne-based industry adviser MinEx Consulting Pty. The nation needs to act to boost future production from new discoveries, or risk “significant supply disruption in the medium-term,” MinEx managing director Richard Schodde said in a study published Monday. Gold exploration spending rose 26 percent in the 12 months to July, Australia’s government said in a report this month.


Theresa May flies to Brussels for emergency talks to rescue Brexit
Christopher Hope – Telegraph
Theresa May will travel to Brussels for talks with European Union leaders amid reports that she has personally urged Angela Merkel to end the Brexit stand-off.

London House Prices Fall Most Since Financial Crisis
Jill Ward – Bloomberg
Values in capital likely fell 2.7% in September, Acadata says; Picture less downbeat outside capital and southeast England
London house prices are falling at their fastest pace since the financial crisis, confirming the British capital as the worst-performing part of a slowing market.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Say They’re Assuming a ‘Hard Brexit’
Stephen Morris – Bloomberg
JPMorgan’s Pinto says he’s preparing for a ‘no deal’ scenario; Barclays CEO, more upbeat, says capital may keep banks in U.K.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are bracing for a “hard Brexit” as they seek to protect their access to the European Union once Britain leaves the bloc in 2019, according to top executives.

U.K. North Sea Oil Faces Quickening Decline If No Brexit Deal
Rakteem Katakey and Angelina Rascouet – Bloomberg
Oil lobby warns cost of trade would double without deal; Uncertainty in industry could restrict vital investment
The U.K. oil and gas industry faces a faster decline if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to agree to a trade deal with the European Union, as restrictions on the movement of workers and equipment would increase costs.

London is right to prepare for no deal on Brexit; Failure is often a precondition to subsequent agreement, but the talks could break down
Wolfgang Munchau – FT
In the EU, deadlines are never deadlines. Both sides in the Brexit negotiations know this. We are currently in a difficult phase. Theresa May’s warm words in Florence were welcomed by EU leaders, but the main effect of the prime minister’s speech was to soften public opinion back in Britain for the compromises that lie ahead. They mattered little for the negotiations themselves. Both the UK and the EU will have to move until a deal is possible.

John Lothian Newsletter

We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story